Friday, September 25, 2009

Sports. For anyone who knows me, they know I'm not an expert or even much of a fan. To blog about a sport is a first for me. But I've just hit my limit of tolerance when it comes to the unbecoming behavior of the adults who are associated with the youth football teams in Patterson.


If a team's home field is the Patterson Community Stadium, then that team is a Patterson team. If the team has played on that field one season or for the last twenty, it's a Patterson team.

Parents: Please understand that one sports reporter can only do so much. Please understand that your children are watching you, and learning from you.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Good stress vs Bad stress

Our little community paper has recently experienced an unusual amount of change. Change can be good, right? It can mean "new and improved", or fresh and exciting, like an adventure. Usually I find that change means all of that in a variety of combinations, coming at me like waves. I either paddle like crazy through the breakers or I get pulled down in the undertoe.

Well the ride was wild, but for now, things have calmed down, and the staff is finding some breathing room.

It was sad to say good-bye to John Saiz. His unique view of the world was appreciated by those of us who knew him on a personal level.

Soon, there will be someone new, with their view of the world and our town. Another reporter who will call Patterson "home". This person will arrive in time (hopefully) to cover the county fair, the new school year and our city's Centennial celebration. Through those assignments, our new reporter will see the best we have to offer. Our spirit of community.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Over-zealous Hunters

Another Fiesta Treasure Hunt is over. It's always bitter sweet. Bitter for those of us who love the hunt. Knowing we have to wait an entire year, for our chance to find the elusive treasure. Sweet for the lucky and skillful folks who perserved, did the research and lost sleep in pursuit of the prize.

For the staff at the Irrigator, it may be sweet to not have to answer multiple phone calls everyday from people wondering, "has the treasure been found?"

Every year we warn hunters against defacing or disturbing property. And every year we hear stories of some infractions, generally small and well tolerated by the property owners.

This year may be the exception. This year, I'm very sorry to hear, some of our hunters went overboard in their quest for the treasure.

It has come to my attention that there has been some damage to mail boxes, sign posts and maybe some areas we haven't been told about.

Please, people. We want to continue this family fun tradition. But we won't be able to if the property owners in town feel violated for four weeks out of the year.

We're going to give it some thought. We hope you do too.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Treasure Hunt equals treasured memories

The annual Fiesta Treasure Hunt! Ahhhh, yes. What great memories......good times.

For years a dear friend, my children and I were avid treasure hunters. From the time the first clue was published in the Irrigator, until the treasure was found, we would go out nearly every night and scour the town.

We even went as far as to wait in front of the Irrigator office, late at night, hoping to be the first to get our hands on the newspaper. It was so freshly printed, the ink would rub off onto our fingers.

We would sit in the car, read the clue and then the lively discussions would ensue. Each of us had theories about what the clue meant. We would dissect the clue, trying to decipher if it was literal or if the clue held double meanings.......

What fun. A great time for family. An opportunity to have the kids learn investigative skills and critical thinking. The chance to learn more about the history of Patterson. They never thought about it that way, and actually, neither did I. We were just having fun.

While out searching, we would meet other folks doing the same. Sometimes, we would discuss our theories. Sometimes, we would guard our notions of what the clues meant. After all, we wouldn't want to give our brilliance away!

Little did I know at that time, that one day I would be working at the Patterson Irrigator, and ultimately responsible for the clues. That dear friend who hunted with me and my kids, for those many years, is now the author of the clues. We are co-conspirators again. Having almost as much fun as when we were hunting........but getting a lot more sleep!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

It was so nice of you, whoever you are.......

Kind words of appreciation can change my mood from apathetic to enthusiastic. Every once in a while, I find myself getting weary of the almost daily flow of opinions, complaints and suggestions that I receive from our readers. Isn't it human nature to express a grievance? Yet, when we're pleased with something, how many of us take the time to express our pleasure?

This morning's mail had a letter in it from an anonymous reader, who signed themselves, simply as "The Family from..........." and then added their address.

Enclosed in the letter was a money order for $50.00. Here's an excerpt of the letter:

"Dear Patterson Irrigator:
For many years we have received PI for free. We are sending you ....... to pay for a subscription. .................We understand the hard times that newspapers are facing. We enjoy your publication and have for many years and appreciate your service to our local youth, education and small businesses.
...............electronic media can never replace the actual newspaper.
Keep up the great work!"

WOW. That's like a B-12 shot right in the arm!

For those who do appreciate what we do, everyday, in good times and in bad, we thank you. We also promise to continue to bring you the news that affects you the most, your local news.

Thanks for reading, whether you hold it in your hand or view us online. You're the reason we do what we do.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

It really does flow downhill!!

It's one of those sayings I've heard for years......but until today, I had never seen it demonstrated.

The PI potty rooms came to a rather messy standstill on Thursday afternoon. Thanks to our good neighbors around the block, we all were able to continue our routine with occasional visits to our neighboring restrooms.

But we can't depend on them for ever, so I spent the better part of Saturday here, watching and learning about the city's sewer system and the underground world that harbors all the secrets that go down our drains. My kids will tell you, this stuff fascinates me. Here's what I learned:

The PI's drainage seems to be lower than the city's pipes. I'm no engineer, but even I can understand that water and whatever that water carries, needs gravity to flow out and away.

Without volume and velocity, the liquid tends to flow too slowly to fully flush (pardon the pun) the sewage into the main line where it will be carried to it's final destination, the water treatment plant.

So that's when I realized "OH, so that's what they mean when they say '&@it flows downhill'". It's not just about hierarchy, it's a fact of nature.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Fiesta needs You!

What a busy week or two! This town starts buzzing every year about this time, as we all gear up for Fiesta.
Patterson puts on one of the best parties in the state every year. The volunteers who work to be sure everything is ready put in thousands (no exageration) of hours to bring three days and two nights of fun for families, singles, and seniors.
The Fiesta needs our help this year. Last night's city council meeting was a real eye opener for me. This economy has taken a toll on all of us. But non-profits are getting hit the hardest, as people start pulling back their donations.
The Fiesta board is faced with some tough decisions as they plan this year's 39th annual event.
When I heard Rich Greer talk about what choices have to be made as far as cutting back on their expenses..................well it just made me sad.
Can you imagine no fireworks? Or how about no hot air balloons? It just wouldn't be Fiesta without those things, for me at least.

So please, if you love the Fiesta and enjoy any part of it, please consider a donation. If everyone who attends could give $1, or $5, that would amount to tens of thousands of dollars.